As someone in charge of a senior living community, you probably spend considerable time and effort searching for ways to improve your residents’ health and safety. Although often overlooked, financial health plays a large part in someone’s overall wellbeing. Indeed, according to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, individuals who have trouble keeping up with their bills are significantly more likely to experience mental health issues. For example, financial stress and other types of stress can negatively impact mental health and physical health, often contributing to:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Weight gain or loss
Financial security is often a significant concern among the older population. According to the National Council on Aging, more than 15 million Americans over the age of 65 (approximately one in three) are economically insecure, meaning that they’re living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. And about half of American households headed by someone over the age of 55 have no retirement savings. Finances can be of particular concern for seniors who need to enter assisted living communities. According to the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, the median cost for assisted living services is $4,000 per month, or $48,000 per year (and for nursing home residents in private rooms, this median cost jumps to $100,375 per year). While some individuals can use Medicaid to help cover these costs, most residents pay for their assisted living services using some type of private pay (for example, personal funds or long-term care insurance). Notably, Medicare doesn’t offer coverage for assisted living services.
What You Can Do
With all of this in mind, it’s important to take steps to help your residents manage their finances, and in turn improve their overall health and wellbeing. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. For example, before seniors move into your community, you’ll want to speak with them (and their families, if appropriate) about how they expect to cover the cost of assisted living services. Do they qualify for Medicaid? Do they have a long-term care insurance policy in place? By making these arrangements ahead of time, you’ll eliminate unneeded stress and ensure that your residents are confident in how their bills are being paid. With regard to residents who are already living in your community, you may want to consider giving presentations or providing resources on topics such as:
- How to create and manage a budget
- How to make the most of Medicare and health insurance benefits
- When to start collecting Social Security
- How taxes can change during retirement
- How to avoid becoming a victim of fraud
And for residents who are interested in re-entering the workforce after retirement, you can also assist them with searching for job openings and filling out applications. Keep an ear out for any issues or concerns that your residents are having—chances are good that more than one person is experiencing the same problem, and it may be a great jumping-off point for a future financial discussion.
An Affordable In-Home Care Solution
There will almost certainly be times when your residents will require medical treatment beyond what your team can offer in house. When those situations arise, your top concern will undoubtedly be getting your residents the care they need, but you should also make it a point to provide them with affordable care options. After all, high medical bills could put additional financial strain on your residents, leading to more stress-related issues in the future.
Luckily, you can turn to DispatchHealth for affordable in-home care. We’re a trusted mobile healthcare provider, and we’re pleased to offer our services for a reasonable price. In fact, one of our in-home visits typically costs about the same as a visit to an urgent care clinic. Residents who have insurance will be glad to know that we’re in-network with most major health insurance plans. We also accept Medicare and Medicare Advantage. And for residents who aren’t insured, we offer a $275 flat rate. To learn more about the services we can provide for residents in your community, contact DispatchHealth today. You can also request a visit for your residents online, by phone, or through our mobile app.
DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies. Sources referenced in this article: